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      08-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
elp_jc
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F1 technical question

Hey gang, I'm curious how the 'manual' clutch is operated for launches, and where it physically is. I know it's some kind of lever near the steering column, but that's all. Since it's an electrohydraulic clutch, I doubt the lever is directly connected to the clutch, like on our 6MTs. I'm betting the lever is more like a rheostat than a true clutch, but at least it's not fully automated (launch control). Pics would be great . Searched for that but zero bites; only the typical technical specs most of us already know. Thanks gang.
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      08-28-2010, 11:16 PM   #2
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Basicly, right behind the steering wheel where the paddles are for the shifts, there is a 2nd set of paddles, 1 on each side, for the clutch. All 4 paddles together make kind of a butterfly shape.

Both clutch paddles work, and the reason there are 2 is because the drivers will press 1 partially the way down and hold it, and then use the other one to fully press down to make the actual change. After the change has been made the fully depressed clutch paddle is released and the partially depressed paddle is slowly released to allow for a consistently smooth shift.

I'll try to find a picture and illustrate it.
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      08-28-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Here is a picture I marked.

I know McLaren's wheel actually has a 3rd set of paddles. I'm not exactly sure what they are for. But this is the general purpose of how it works.
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      08-29-2010, 12:48 AM   #4
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But this is the general purpose of how it works.
Thanks a lot man. I'm still a bit confused how the clutch paddles work, since they're only needed for 1st and from a standstill, right? You mentioned 'for smooth shifts', but all drivers seem to do while underway is just touch the up/down shift paddles. So just like I suspected, the clutch paddles are just like a rheostat, but I don't quite get if each paddle has a different purpose, or they're redundant.

Oh, and have another question: Do F1 cars have a semi-launch control, where the driver can just mash the throttle and the car holds the revs at an adjustable rpm until clutch is released? Hope the answer is no . Thanks again for your help; at least I learned where the paddles are . Looking forward to the race tomorrow.
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      08-29-2010, 01:11 AM   #5
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What exactly do those clutch paddles do? Do those disengage the clutch?
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      08-29-2010, 01:46 AM   #6
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I forgot the exact sequences and what did Martin Brundle said during BBC's pre-race show.

He said something during the formation lap, the driver had to do a certain burnouts to get the bite point right. Then use the clutch peddles at the bottom rear to set the bite points or something. Release the right one when you build up the rev when the five red light sequence starts (the car will bog a bit if i remember what i heard)...and release the left when the light turns off....then shift up going down the straight....
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      08-29-2010, 01:54 AM   #7
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Speaking of Clutch...

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      09-02-2010, 05:15 PM   #8
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I forgot the exact sequences and what did Martin Brundle said during BBC's pre-race show.
Don't worry man; thanks anyway. Hopefully a vid will show up sometime. I've seen F1 cars reverse slowly, but I bet electronics (like a DCT) is doing the work there, rather than the paddles. Take care.
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      09-02-2010, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Thanks a lot man. I'm still a bit confused how the clutch paddles work, since they're only needed for 1st and from a standstill, right? You mentioned 'for smooth shifts', but all drivers seem to do while underway is just touch the up/down shift paddles. So just like I suspected, the clutch paddles are just like a rheostat, but I don't quite get if each paddle has a different purpose, or they're redundant.

Oh, and have another question: Do F1 cars have a semi-launch control, where the driver can just mash the throttle and the car holds the revs at an adjustable rpm until clutch is released? Hope the answer is no . Thanks again for your help; at least I learned where the paddles are . Looking forward to the race tomorrow.
I'm not sure all they are doing is 'touching' the shift paddle. If you watch you can see their entire hand clinch for it. If it was just tapping the one paddle I could so much force would be required. Having to use 2 paddles would result in such a deliberate movement of the hand.

Also, I don't believe there is any launch control on F1 cars. They only have an anti-stall system. Which is why they can still bog off the line.
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      09-02-2010, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
I'm not sure all they are doing is 'touching' the shift paddle. If you watch you can see their entire hand clinch for it. If it was just tapping the one paddle I could so much force would be required. Having to use 2 paddles would result in such a deliberate movement of the hand.

Also, I don't believe there is any launch control on F1 cars. They only have an anti-stall system. Which is why they can still bog off the line.
Or Mark Webber messed up his start at Spa...
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      09-03-2010, 06:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Also, I don't believe there is any launch control on F1 cars.
It's illegal, that's for sure . 'Anti-stall' is still a launch control aid IMO, but at least they have to manually operate the electrohydraulic clutch to start (makes the race more interesting). And F1 regulations only require physical clutch actuation from a standing start. Look at the hands of drivers from the on-board rear cameras while racing and most just tap the paddle with ONE index finger (depending if up or downshifting). My curiosity is how the paddles are operated for the starts. Have a good one.

Last edited by elp_jc; 09-03-2010 at 06:54 PM.
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      09-06-2010, 01:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Basicly, right behind the steering wheel where the paddles are for the shifts, there is a 2nd set of paddles, 1 on each side, for the clutch. All 4 paddles together make kind of a butterfly shape.

Both clutch paddles work, and the reason there are 2 is because the drivers will press 1 partially the way down and hold it, and then use the other one to fully press down to make the actual change. After the change has been made the fully depressed clutch paddle is released and the partially depressed paddle is slowly released to allow for a consistently smooth shift.

I'll try to find a picture and illustrate it.
From my understanding, during actual driving, the clutch pedals are not used. I believe that ignition cut out is integrated with the transmission so that you can do "zero lift upshift" -- basically shifting by simply pulling/pushing the lever/pedal, no clutch pedal involved. This technology is used in higher level racing, such as the ALMS, and pretty common on motorcycles.

The clutch pedals are probably only used when stopping completely or accelerating from a standstill, i.e. pitting, or when you spin out
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      09-06-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Basicly, right behind the steering wheel where the paddles are for the shifts, there is a 2nd set of paddles, 1 on each side, for the clutch. All 4 paddles together make kind of a butterfly shape.

Both clutch paddles work, and the reason there are 2 is because the drivers will press 1 partially the way down and hold it, and then use the other one to fully press down to make the actual change. After the change has been made the fully depressed clutch paddle is released and the partially depressed paddle is slowly released to allow for a consistently smooth shift.

I'll try to find a picture and illustrate it.
Correct, only that they pull both in 100% but one of them is only 50%.
And for gettin out in pitlane.
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